Ferrari have reportedly decided to part ways with team principal Mattia Binotto, with Alfa Romeo‘s Frederic Vasseur set to replace him for the 2023 season.
Binotto has led the team since being promoted from his position at Ferrari technical director back in 2019, a period during which the team has frequently pushed the frontrunners but never been able to sustain a title challenge.
This season Ferrari have faced criticism for a series of strategic blunders which have cost their drivers points, notably Charles Leclerc who has suffered a number of poor calls or technical issues which cut short his title challenge to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
According to La Gazetta Dello Sporte, the team sounded out Vasseur’s interest in conversation’s with Ferrari president John Elkann last summer, but the deal at that point didn’t go through.
Now, the paper reports that Vasseur will take the reins from Binotto in January, as the Maranello-based team look to push forward next season and take the challenge to Red Bull and Mercedes.
In the early stages of the 2022 season, Ferrari and Leclerc looked set to mount a serious challenge to Red Bull, with Mercedes struggling for pace and the Italian team showing an early advantage over their rivals.
However, that optimism was swiftly replaced by a sense of foreboding for Ferrari fans watching the races, with the team making a serious of strategic errors and suffering technical DNFs which put a halt to any dreams of a title this year.
Leclerc in particular has been left smarting on a number of occasions, notably in Monaco, the British GP and most recently at the Brazilian GP, when yet another blundering strategy call around which tyre to use left the Monegasque starting further back than he should have.
The issues have mounted up and, with the team’s title drought still ongoing, management have seemingly felt it is time to make some changes and take a different approach going forward.
With rumours swirling, Ferrari issued a statement on social media denying that Binotto will be replaced: “In relation to speculation in certain media regarding Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto’s position, Ferrari states that these rumours are totally without foundation.”